Pierre Poilievre is a strong communicator, who has managed to become popular among the party base by pushing core-conservative ideas on the economy, while also avoiding being tagged with any ‘far-right’ labels. Is O’Toole worried that Poilievre will outshine him?
Among core Conservatives, Pierre Poilievre is one of the most popular figures in the party.
Poilievre has shown the rare ability to simultaneously appeal to the party base while also avoiding any ‘far-right’ labels.
On social issues, Poilievre seems to be in the mainstream of public opinion, while focusing his time on financial issues, pushing for the core conservative values of balanced budgets, restrained spending, and individual freedom.
Poilievre is also one of the best communicators in the party, whether delivering speeches, answering questions, or backing Liberal ministers into rhetorical corners from which they struggle to escape.
Amid the pandemic and immense government spending, Poilievre has taken on an even larger profile, slamming the Liberal record on jobs and growth, with Canada lagging further and further behind our G7 peers.
And yet, despite all of this, Poilievre has been removed from the high profile finance critic role, instead being shuffled to ‘shadow minister for jobs and industry.’
Perhaps, this is a sign that Erin O’Toole is intimidated by Poilievre’s popularity within the party, a point effectively made by Darshan Maharaja:
“Because lieutenants cannot be allowed to outshine the leader. Even a lackluster leader.”
Because lieutenants cannot be allowed to outshine the leader. Even a lackluster leader.
— Darshan Maharaja (@TheophanesRex) February 10, 2021
Poilievre’s replacement in the finance critic role will be Ed Fast, who is competent and well-respected, but certainly not considered a charismatic politician.
Poilievre will still retain his platform on social media and his connection to the party base, but O’Toole clearly wants Poilievre to have a smaller public profile.
After what we have seen in recent months, with the Conservatives shifting their messaging from ‘true blue’ to ‘moderate centrists,’ many party members will be concerned by Poilievre been shuffled from his role, and will question whether the party has the confidence to stand for conservative principles.
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